Does the following scenario remind you of anyone?
Sue was totally in love with Jim. The couple met in high school and dated for eight years. Everyone who knew them expected them to get married and live happily ever after together. Then Jim met Karen. Before anyone knew what was happening – including Sue – Jim had eloped with Karen, putting an end to all of Sue’s dreams and expectations.
Sue was devastated. All she could think about was Jim and how she had been cheated out of a happy and secure lifetime with him.
She attempted to date other guys but no one could compare to Jim in her eyes. Sue spent her days feeling sorry for herself and dreaming that one-day, Jim would return to her.
After many years, Sue finally married another man. However, he could not measure up to Sue’s memory of Jim. As a result, Sue’s marriage was an unhappy one in which she never was able to give her all to her husband. After a number of unhappy years, her husband left Sue as well.
Sue lived out the remaining years of her life lonely, embittered and righteously indignant about how she had been wronged.
Completing is Key
It is impossible to be totally present in life, living full out in the moment, if we are incomplete with our past. Instead of welcoming each new experience with a fresh perspective, we become bogged down in the baggage from previously unresolved issues. These issues steal our life energy and diminish of self-esteem.
All too often, when something does not work out as we had hoped, we worry about or relive the event over and over again. Maintaining our focus on the past distracts and confuses us, draining our energy. With less energy to focus on making the present an exciting passionate adventure, we slip into resignation and begin to see ourselves as limited, ineffective, unworthy, and even unlovable. The future presents us with an opportunity to complete the past. When we do so, people and events no longer possess an emotional charge. Communicating responsibly with the appropriate people and releasing any remaining opinions, feelings, upsets or emotions until there is nothing left to say is the access to clearing all residue that may interfere with moving on in life.
When there is nothing left to say or do and you are void of further energy around an incomplete incident, you can start anew.
Why Completion Helps
Completion is a declaration you make that you are satisfied for now and ready to move on to what’s next. When you are complete, you no longer feel the need to change, worry or fix something in your past. Your focus can rightfully be placed on your present actions and situation as you design a compelling future deliberately.
There is value in declaring yourself complete at the end of each day. This declaration allows you to recognize your accomplishments for the day putting your mind at rest so that you can start fresh the next day. When you are complete, you experience a new vitality and aliveness. There is a special sense of certainty and excitement that allows you to be most productive and present for whatever project or opportunity is next. However, most of the time we never quite reach that level of freedom due to our reluctance to communicate all there is to say in order to put it all behind us.
Do not confuse completion with being finished or with quitting. Being finished means you are done with doing whatever it is you’ve finished. Quitting is about your decision to stop what you are doing whether you are finished or not. There are times when quitting does not support you if you are quitting for the wrong reason. For example, you quit because you cannot be with an interpretation of failing or perhaps because you are unwilling to take responsibility for communicating what is so for you in the appropriate manner.
Although there is little room in our society for quitters, there is no dishonor in quitting if you are clear about the consequences of your decision and staying at it no longer serves you. All there is to do is simply tell the truth – and go on to whatever is next for you.
Exercise For Completion
- Make a list of all the people with whom you are still angry or have an existing challenge or incompletion.
- Within the next 30 days, complete with everyone on your list. For those who are deceased or unreachable, write a completion letter saying everything you need to say in order to be complete.
- For every interaction or situation you experience daily, ask yourself if you are complete, satisfied and fulfilled. Is there anything left to say or do that would allow you to put any incompletions behind you?
- As you declare each situation complete, look to see what action, project or area of research is next for you.
- Identify any areas where you have quit. Have you told the truth and completed with your decision to quit? Is there anything left to do or say to anyone about it?
Dr. Joe Rubino
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